I’m taking what I’ve learned in my iconography classes and applying it to a picture of my mother. She has told me many stories about her childhood as her cognitive functions have started to decline, and I have been full of sadness at the challenges and hardships of her life. Yet, through all of that, I feel the beauty and wisdom of her aging. Here, she holds a little white dog that she still misses. I had thought the dog was a figment of her imagination, then I found a photo of her and the dog from 1992! I have merged that photo with a recent one taken as we went for a walk with her in her wheelchair. The flowers are plumenaria, representing the time she lived in Hawaii and was the full time caregiver for her husband, who had Alzheimers.
It takes years to draw like an ant, having first tried out the idea in 2009. Last weekend, I was dimly aware that I had gained (at least in the moment) a mindless attentiveness that allowed me to meander around the drawing and take it all in while putting it all back out there. It was also an absolute head twister to utilize mark making as a vocabulary tool while hanging on by my fingernails to making the drawing itself. The experience reminded me of learning to write an essay or a poem, and since I have learned how to write, I know that I can progress even more with drawing. It’s never a done deal.
In a nutshell: the three-day life drawing marathon with Fran O’Neill was nerve wracking, challenging, agonizing and sublime.
Hoping that drawing for three days (not 3 hours) on the walls (not on easels), with charcoal (big drawings, not little) with two models (not 1) from 9-5 (not from 9-noon) will help balance out all those Chocolate Easter Eggs!! Fran, you have your work cut out for you! (Register on this website to work w Fran O’Neill for 3 days of intensive drawing . #franoneill #drawingtutorial #drawingcourse #drawingintensive #drawng#pdxart #theweeknd #contemporaryart
Immerse, refresh, take time, reinvigorate, up your game with other artists who are insane (and wise?) enough to give a weekend to sharpening their skills in the company of others. Register today! On this website! The drawing action starts this Thursday, April 26 and continues for three days, 9-5, East Creative Collective at 211 E Madison, Portland, Oregon. And yes, the amazing Fran O’Neill is our instructor. Her abstract work is phenomenal, her
drawings fabulous. www.franoneill.com.
Fran O’Neill teaches a 3-Day Drawing Intensive from April 26-28 here in Portland. As an instructor at the Art Student League of New York and the Marathon Program of the New York Studio School, O’Neill will work with participants as they push their ability to observe and perceive the world and relate that to their drawing. Materials will focus on paper and charcoal and we’ll be working from live models. Immerse yourself and recharge your drawing! Register on this website! There’s just a few more spots left - I hope that you will join us!
Feeling refreshed by my studio time today. The only thing was, I needed to regrind my ochre pigment - it was full of lumps (aka rocks in the lingo) and simply wouldn’t disolve in the egg temper, mixing so poorly that I couldn’t get close to the needed skin tones for the icon on which I am working. Very cleverly – imo but not exactly my husband’s! – I repurposed our small kitchen mortar and pestle to get the job done. Regrinding was just the ticket (thank you, Fr. Jon!), and things are going much better.
I have assured my husband that I would get a new m&p for the kitchen immediately. As I read on FB lately, artists aren’t messy, they just have all these ideas lying around. And in my case, nothing is safe from carrying out those ideas! Whoohooo!
You know who you are - one of the ones that can't help making art and who are always pushing themselves forward. Let yourself go for three days with other serious artists and like-minded maniacs! What could be better?! Go to http://myra-clark.squarespace.com/…/3-day-drawing-intensive… for more information and to register.
Here’s a review of the J. S. Show at the Modern I in Edinburgh. It captures what I found to be the sensibility of the contemporary group show I saw there. Saville is new for me - I was stunned. When her figures became too disturbing to look at (happened quite soon), I would begin examining her marks in paint and charcoal Instead. They were disturbing too. I couldn’t get away from these monumentally scaled, nude women. Their very flesh, so malleable and yet so solid, were hard to remain with but so compelling I had to stay. Her work will stay w me a long time.
i also saw an amazing Rembrandt show the same day. I was especially swept into his ink drawings. I’m inviting him into my studio and drawing immediately. I’m just on my phone so will post more notes later.
Tuesday: Kelvingrove Art Museum and Gallery in Glasgow. Loved it - focused on Scottish art and artists, and it was a great intro. I only have my phone, and dang it! Cannot figure out how to get a photo in here! Hopefully there will be photos soon!
Complete installation will happen tomorrow for "Mary's Tangle." The run through pointed out, as usual, the things that needed further tending. Those done, and now ready for the real thing. The people at #trinitycathedral are wonderful to work with, and I feel very grateful to be able to submit a 3D piece in what is essentially a painting and drawing exhibit. With three shows this month, I am nothing if not busy. An abundance of good things. Looking forward to installing tomorrow and then the artist talk and reception at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday at Trinity Cathedral on NW 19th and NW Everett. #eggs #marymagdalene #installationart #contemporaryartist #contemporaryart
I have three shows in July! I hope to see you at one or all of them.
June 30 - August 11
5th Annual Living Mark Exhibit
An international open juried call
Opening June 30, 6-8
Regular Hours are T/W/Th/Sat 11-4, and by appointment as well
My piece "Pussy Got Pisssed" has been included in this exhibit, and was chosen for the cover of the show's catalog! (sumi ink, small orange latex gloves, staples on wood; 24"x24")
July 5 - 28
Gallery 114, Thurs - Sun, noon-6
Dwelling in Possibility
Annual member exhibit
Opening July 5th, 6-9 p.m.
My piece "Tangle" will be in the show (ink on paper, 36" x 50")
1100 NW Glisan
Portland, OR 97209
Hours: Thursday – Saturday, 12-6pm and by appointment
July 8 - September 9
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, NW 19th and NW Everett
Mary Magdalene Re-Imagined
Juried group show
Opening and artist panel, July 8th
My installation piece, "Mary's Tangle," is part of this exhibit. Image detail is on my home page.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
147 NW 19th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
10am – 12pm Sundays through September 9 or by appointment with Myra Clark (see “contact”)
This is a post I forgot to post in February! The show has become one of my personally most important of what I have done, and so I am offering the post now despite the date.
Responses to the show:
I had middle and high schoolers at the gallery last Friday evening, and they talked about the fragility of sanctuary, and how the only true sanctuary is in the heart. (Oh, Children). Another student, from PNCA and on a different day, took note of my "interesting use of idolatry" at one point. I have to admit that caught me by surprise, and the ensuing discussion was super interesting and great. Love students!
This last Saturday, a woman started crying when she reached the chairs ("Playtime"). She has a 14 year old son she is trying to keep in school and wonders how she can keep working on this when schools are no longer sanctuaries for children.
Several other people also found "Playtime" most disturbing. One person noted that in his tradition a rock would symbolize returning to the earth. Another said that in her Jewish tradition a rock was placed on a grave for remembrance. Another said it was hard not to think of the rocks as weapons given the shell casings of the other two pieces.
"Empty Shells" has been one of the most engaging for people I have talked with. Many also like looking through the speakeasy door in "Narrow Door," like the embroidery a great deal and have a hard time with the nimbus. I feel in good company, as the piece keeps going in and out of focus for me at many levels, and the metaphors have become increasingly nuanced.
The theme of sanctuary is timely, evocative and provocative. It has become it's own exhibit; while I am the artist, the exhibit has it's own life and identity. I hope you can come and experience it.
Note: When I began these works, the school shooting in Spokane, WA, had just taken place The day I went out on the shooting range for a lesson on gun safety and shooting (I needed the experience to do the show), Las Vegas had just occurred. When the show was up, the Parkland shooting happened. It was all far more timely than I had anticipated. The show seemed to give many people a way to dare encompass their thoughts and emotions, and to find ways to take these things to heart and somehow find healing. Again, an honor, in an unexpected way, to have offered this exhibit.
There is something foundational about making these papers. I use words, phrases and ink, writing them over and over again, this time with different colors (although sumi ink is always a given). My mind is free to meditate on the words, wander over other thoughts. I have been listening to Russian liturgical music again - I was introduced to this 41 years ago when I was first married and in NYC, as that was all my husband had in his collection - along with Gregorian chant, classical music, and opera. For a blues, rock and roll and jazz listener, this was a real switch. I grew to love all of it. This is from the St. Vladimir's Seminary Choir, "The Great and Holy Saturday." The phrase is "For as many have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, unto the ages of ages, amen, alleluia." Who knows why this came up as the one to do, but it is a way to be mindful, playful, and doing something post-show - for which I am grateful. Easing back in, a process that reminds me of looking at a star that you can't see except from the corner of your eye.
Farewell to my installations "Narrow Door," "Playtime" and "Empty Shells", as well as Lauren Carrera's wonderful creation "The Revelation: Everything That Rises Must Converge." Sigh - everything has now come down from the exhibit. Yes, it may re-emerge at other sites, but at Gallery 114 it had its own site specific identity. Once work is installed, it becomes its own thing, it goes its own way, never to be the same again if there is change in site, situation or context.
I focused on the tension in sanctuary. In response, people brought me stories, metaphors, memories, pain and joys of their own. It meant a great deal to me that there was such a deep exchange between the gift of art that I was giving (or the gift of being a channel for these creations), and the reflection, remembering and for some, healing that came up. There was the experience of disruption and also the possibility of regeneration. Truly, the space became sacred. I was very honored, and deeply moved throughout the time of this show.
Rarely have I been so privileged to share in such perceptive insights and emotions with so many who have come to see this exhibit. It has been an enormous and mutual gift.
Please come by for a glass of wine and some chocolate tomorrow (Thursday) with Lauren Carrera, my guest artist who is showing her installation "The Revelation," and myself from 4p.m. - 6p.m. at Gallery 114 (1100 NW Glisan). We will be there to informally talk about our work with you and to answer any questions. Appreciations if you could help spread the word as well.
During a colleague's show at Gallery 114 (the collective of which I am a part) there were several people purchasing her paintings (yay, Mary Jo!). One couple also asked me if I had anything they could see, so I brought up a piece on my computer, and also emailed some other images. Last night, I took the piece they were interested in over to their house and we looked at frames and placement of the art. They loved it, put a deposit down on the work and I'm going ahead with the framing for them. It was the first time I have been asked to visit someone's home and to be part of all the decisions about framing and placement. I felt so honored, and so happy with the process. - And the piece is perfect for them, which makes it all super awesome.
I think that's how it's done, how a gallery makes things happen. So very pleased to be part of Gallery 114 and to be part of making connections with people who truly care about art.
December 6, 2017
Here's a shout-out to my mom, who at 88 years old has spent the past year knitting hats for community members. These are people who come to the Friday Night Dinner that Grace Memorial Church hosts every week; many people who come are without housing and living outside. Community members all receive holiday gift bags during December with basic items like hats, gloves, scarves, toothpaste, etc. Warm hats make a big difference - it is really getting cold out. My mom has done this for the past three years.
Choosing the yarn, the patterns and the style - even the size. This is her creativity and art. I am so proud that she continues to use her gifts and skills to make a difference.
I tried out an open life drawing session to day – and was I ever out of practice! Like using muscles that haven’t been used in a while. It’s hard to find the time to go, but so critical. I’m hoping to carve out some regular time, even though I am getting ready for my show in February.
Yesterday I was enjoying the simplicity of pushing ink around with a big brush, and suddenly found with pleasure that my stuttering marks were being influenced by much admired friend and artist, Fran O’Neil. Right now, these marks are resisting the addition of other colors, and loading up the page with more, different and complex marks isn't working so well. Lately though, creating harmony with similar marks and strokes has emerged as something I enjoy tending to. I look forward to seeing where all this leads — loving the new vocabulary.
I loved the “Abstraction and Surprises” marathon at the New York Studio School last year, and I loved it this year. I thought to continue on my merry way, effortlessly getting better and better at the work. The key word was "effortlessly," but - that's not the way it worked. No surprise - right? Nonetheless, I was surprised, as I endlessly am, by the struggle and challenge of pushing towards a new level. I was also thrilled by the opportunity to be stuck in the exact place in making a painting during the marathon that I am challenged by in my own studio. What relationship do the frenzied mark making studies I make have to the orderly picture/painting/forms that I have in mind for a painting?
I often go from the “known” to the “unknown” in painting, from order into chaos. But what about starting out chaotically, and going backwards into more orderly forms? Or not going into orderly forms at all? I really don’t know how to put this question, but asking it is important.
I look forward to another version of the above “The Horse Form and the Figurative Form.” The title (ahem) needs work.